Important Information for Vermont Produce Growers

See below for important opportunities to help with implementation of food safety programs on your farm. As we proceed with implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, this stuff matters. -TB

Dear Vermont Produce Grower,

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) would like to share the following opportunities related to produce safety. Continue reading to learn about produce safety trainings, grants, and how to stay in the loop with timely produce safety news.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course: Nov. 7-8

VAAFM and UVM Extension invite all produce growers to attend the PSA Grower Training held on November 7 and 8 in Richmond, VT. This hands-on training provides all you need to know about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule and how it impacts Vermont growers. $30 subsidized workshop fee includes training manual, meals, and Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) certificate—a $130 value. Click here to register. This training satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement for covered farms that “at least one supervisor or responsible party” completes “food safety training…recognized as adequate” by FDA (§112.22(c)).

Produce Safety Improvement Grant: Request for Proposals Available Now!

VAAFM is pleased to announce the first round of a two-round grant opportunity to improve on-farm produce safety! The Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant program provides grants for on-farm improvements to reduce produce safety risks. Approximately $74,000 in funding will be available each round. Growers will be able to submit applications beginning November 15, 2017; however, VAAFM strongly encourages growers to read the request for proposals (RFP) and prepare their applications in advance, as funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible for the grant, applicants must grow, harvest, pack, or hold “covered produce” as defined by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, and have average annual produce sales of greater than $25,000 over the past three years. Click here for the Vermont Produce Safety Improvement Grant webpage.

Be in the know with Produce Safety News: Produce Portal Enrollment

The Vermont Produce Program Team encourages all Vermont produce growers to enroll for the Produce Portal to:

  1. Receive timely policy updates for produce safety requirements.
  2. Access grant funds for farm food safety improvements.
  3. Request an On-Farm Readiness Review (a voluntary assessment of a farm’s produce safety readiness prior to inspection).

Click here to enroll today!

Questions? Email AGR.FSMA or call (802) 828-2433.

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